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Dog Saves Hearing Impaired Man From Westmoreland Co. Fire

(Photo Credit: Trina Orlando/KDKA)

(Photo Credit: Trina Orlando/KDKA)

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SALEM TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – A Westmoreland County billiard table manufacturing company went up in flames Friday morning and is a total loss.

According to officials at the scene, the fire broke out at Valley Billiards in Salem Township near the intersection of Routes 22 and 119 around 8:30 a.m.

The company had suffered some water damage from Hurricane Sandy earlier this week. It is believed that the fire started when they turned the power back on this morning.

“We had water coming through roof yesterday; so when turned the power on, bingo ,” said Valley Billiards owner Burley Hartin.

The owner’s son was inside when the fire started. He is hearing impaired and the owner’s dog, a black Labrador Retriever named Graham, alerted him to the fire.

“My son is hearing impaired. He’s the one who opened up this morning and turned the electrical switches on. And shortly after that, the dog alerted him, carried on something terrible. He went back in the back and saw the fire. So, he came back and got the heck out of there,” Hartin said.

The fire spread quickly. Heavy winds pushed the flames through the all-wood building. Everyone was able to get out of the building safely.

It was too dangerous for firefighters to go inside.

“Fire guys got on scene, laid lines. We did an exterior attack because of rapid movement of fire through building,” said Chief Bob Rosatti, of the Forbes Road Fire Department.

Valley Billiards built pool tables from scratch; and because of the fire, five customers won’t be getting their finished products.
Four hearing-impaired employees, including the owner’s son are now out of a job.

Hartin has been in the pool table business since 1956. He estimates his loss at about $200,000.

“We can possibly rebuild or start over. We’ll see how it goes. We’re going to need some help to do it,” he said.

A fire marshal will determine the official cause of the fire.

If you had a pool table being built at Valley Billiards, you can contact them at: 412-480-3887

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